Late one night, when we were all in bed
Old Mother Leary left a lantern in the shed,
And when the cow kicked it over, she winked an eye and said,
“There’ll be a hot time, on the old town tonight.”
Fire, fire, fire!
If you grew up in Chicago, chances are high that you’ve heard the song detailing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The infamous event left the great city in devastation and shambles, but that’s not where the story ends. Some of the greatest minds from various industries joined forces, collaborated, and did the seemingly impossible. The community banded together to rebuild and better the city. Inspired by the spirit of growth and development that existed after the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 was founded in 2012. The organization has grown to be a valuable resource and support system for over 400 digital start-ups and events in the city of Chicago.
1871 is the main initiative of its parent non-profit organization, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). CEC developed 1871 to provide a tangible address and work-space for Chicago based entrepreneurs in the technology and digital arenas. The entire operation is run and supported by CEC. According to their website, 1871 “is a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes, work hard, build your business and, with a little luck, change the world.”
There have been a variety of events held at the eye-catching and modern work-space, such as the StartupAmerica: 1 Year Anniversary National Event, Innovative Technologies in the Automotive Industry: a French View on the Green, and most recently The Purpose Pitch. I was particularly impressed with the push to get young girls interested and involved in the technology scene.
The main goal of the organization is to connect people to resources- be it financial, human collateral, work-space, or simply acting as a think-tank to bounce ideas around. A wide variety of programs are offered to fulfill that mission like mentor/mentee programs, volunteer opportunities, classes and seminars, and the opportunity to hold an event at the Merchandise Mart work- space.
1871 is growing in popularity and helping Chicago based entrepreneurs. The organization is a prime example of the ideal that we are better together, and is doing great things for the city of Chicago.
CALL TO ACTION
Check out 1871’s website, social media pages, and get involved! That can manifest as taking a class, attending an event, or even sharing their page on your social media sites. Digital technology is an ever growing and expanding field and you don’t want to get left behind!
A wall of tall glass windows stands out on Madison Street in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. A deviation from the down brick buildings, large orange letters appear on the bottom right side – “The Peace Corner Youth Center” it reads.
Nestled in the west side of Chicago, The Peace Corner is open on the weekdays from 10 am to 6:30 pm. The Peace Corner provides a variety of services to the public— all free of charge.
During the morning and the early afternoon, the organization opens it’s facilities to help prepare young adults for careers. According to their website, “[they] offer assistance in computer literacy, job preparation seminars and referrals to educational resources.”
“Everybody is starting to realize that gun violence is not just a south side problem. It’s not just a Chicago problem. It’s an American problem,” Tamar Manasseh, Founder of Mask,
MASK is a grass roots organization that is working to end gun violence in Chicago. MASK does this by acting as a supplemental force along with police officers to patrol the streets. They do not do so with guns or violence, instead with hugs and kindness. They support stricter gun control though believe that true change is up to them.
“Cure Violence stops the spread of violence in communities by using the methods and strategies associated with disease control – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms – resulting reductions in violence of 40% to 70%.” – Cure Violence, Website
To understand the work that Cure Violence does, it is important to understand their perspective of violence being a ‘Health Issue.’
“BUILD’s mission is to engage at-risk youth in the schools and on the streets, so they can realize their educational and career potential and contribute to the stability, safety and well being of our communities.”– BUILD Chicago’s Website
BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development ) Chicago is located in Chicago’s western neighborhoods (Austin, Humboldt Park, Hermosa, West Town) and Southern neighborhoods (Fuller Park, Brozeville). BUILD Chicago focuses on youth development within these communities.